Bicycling is a great way to get around. Not only does it help ease congestion in crowded areas, but it is also a great way to exercise. However, bicyclists are often more vulnerable to negligence and careless drivers on the roadways. If you have been involved in a Georgia bicycle accident, you are probably wondering – can I use car insurance for this?
The answer is yes, in most cases you will be able to use car insurance to cover your injuries. It is important that you contact a qualified and experienced Georgia bicycle accident attorney to help you through this process to ensure you get the compensation you need.
What if a driver is at fault in a Georgia bicycle accident?
Bicyclists are among the most vulnerable groups of people in and around the roadways in Georgia. Despite Georgia laws that allow cyclists the right-of-way on most roads, these incidents still occur at an alarming rate, and they often cause major injuries.
It is important that both bicyclists and vehicle drivers pay attention to one another on the roadways. Bicycle safety begins with understanding the laws. Most people are not aware of the following:
- If a car passes a bicycle, the car must leave at least three feet of space. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-56.
- Cars must yield to a bicycle if it is in a bicycle lane. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-55.
- Bicycles may legally ride upon the paved shoulder of the road. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-291.
- Bicycles must obey the same rules that cars must obey. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-290.
- Bicyclists must stay on the right side of the roadway. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-294(b).
In many cases, we find that drivers are at fault for various reasons, including the following:
- Driver inattention: as drivers become increasingly more distracted by their phones and other devices, they are becoming more dangerous for bicyclists.
- Failure to yield: there are times when drivers or cyclists are not aware of their responsibilities according to traffic laws. In many cases, a bicyclist gets struck at an intersection or while they are driving on the right side of the roadway.
*Drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol are more likely to strike a bicyclist.
Unfortunately, many motorists flee the scene of a bicycle crash to avoid responsibility for the injuries or because they are hiding something illegal (drunk driving, drugs in the vehicle, warrants for their arrest, etc.).
Will their insurance cover a Georgia bicycle accident?
If another driver is at fault in a bicycle crash, their insurance will likely be required to cover your injury expenses through their bodily injury liability insurance. This will require that you file a claim directly with their insurance company.
However, the requirement for bodily injury liability insurance in Georgia is only $25,000. If your injuries cost more than that, you may be able to use your own automobile insurance as well. If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM), you will be able to use that if the driver has inadequate coverage. You may also be able to use this coverage if the driver who strikes you flees the scene of the crash.
What happens after a Georgia bicycle accident?
Bicycle crashes can be scary and confusing, especially if you are injured. The good news is that an at-fault driver’s insurance should cover your expenses. However, if there is a dispute with the at-fault party or their insurance company, you may need to secure assistance from a Georgia bicycle accident attorney.
A skilled attorney will know exactly how to file a claim with the insurance companies and will guide you through the process. If an insurance company denies your claim or does not offer enough compensation to cover your expenses, an experienced attorney will help negotiate on your behalf.